Pumpkins are good food, high in essential vitamins and minerals. Once we carve and light them, however, most people think their value is gone. Think of this: just as many resources went into growing that Virginia grown Jack O’lantern as any other food product, and it will produce a nutrient-dense compost as it rots.

Check with your city or county to see if they have a pumpkin collection program. Some areas collect pumpkins with yard waste but some do not, so check before you chuck.

You can turn composting your pumpkin into a fun activity for kids. Let them break it into pieces. Find a sunny corner if possible, leave the pieces there, cover with leaves and within a few months, you should have an earthy-smelling compost rich in nutrients to spread on your plants.

Putting every bit of your pumpkin to good use takes a little effort, but it can be a fun family activity and a way to do something good for the planet.